Bradley McCallum, Nationalist —Slobodan Milošević Diptych (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, February 12, 2002 appearance, after a photo by Raphael Gaillarde; died in custody, trial terminated), 2015.
Photo courtest Robert Blumenthal Gallery.
Bradley McCallum at Robert Blumenthal gallery, through March 5. For years, Bradley McCullum, often working in collaboration with artist Jacqueline Tarry, has directed his artistic pursuits to sculptures, installations, paintings and performances with a political edge, and social significance, which are apparent in the ten recent works on view in this solo exhibition. The meticulously executed oil paintings, including large, photorealist-style portraits of notorious war criminals, explore masculine configurations of power, in war, international relations, and militarism. It is a potent and thought-provoking show with far-reaching implications, especially in this presidential election year, with all of its attendant angst, drama, and conflict.
The oil studies of tyrants, such as Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Cambodia’s notorious Nuon Chea, of the Khmer Rouge; and Serbia’s Slobodan Milošević, have a kind of jarring and palpable intensity, especially as McCallum paints each in “reversal” or negative image, which resembles a ghostly X-ray. Despite the harrowing subject matter, McCallum is hypersensitive to formal elements in the works, which can often appear elegant and restrained, as in a series of refined oval compositions of painted silk. These lively and colorful pieces feature artfully abstracted images of various violent demonstrations around the world, among them anti-US protests that inevitably include burning of the American flag.
Original full article: https://news.artnet.com/market/winter-gallery-shows-nyc-david-ebony-412703
Derek Fordjour: ‘Upper Room’ (closes on Saturday) Walking from Madison Avenue into this show is like changing planets. The gallery’s small reception area is carpeted with crushed stone. To the right, a small opening leads to darkened larger space swathed, tent-style, in fabrics; the floor is covered with packed earth. Tree trunks stand upright like tent poles; wreaths of dried flowers are suspended from them. The installation is partly autobiographical. Mr. Fordjour grew up in Tennessee, a child of Ghanaian immigrants. “Upper Room” refers to places of religious worship — a prayer room in his family home and church revival meetings in country clearings — which were meant to provide safety but couldn’t. A soundtrack of hymns plays in the gallery, but so does a live police scanner. Robert Blumenthal Gallery, 1045 Madison Avenue, near 80th Street, Manhattan, 646-852-6332, robertblumenthal.com. (Cotter)
Original article at: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/arts/design/museum-amp-gallery-listings-for-nov-27-dec-3.html?_r=1
Entering Derek Fordjour’s “Upper Room” from Madison Avenue is like changing planets. The small reception area in Robert Blumenthal’s third-floor gallery is carpeted with loose crushed stone, destabilizing underfoot; fragments of neon advertising signs hang from and lean against the walls. To the right, up two steps, a small door leads to a darkened larger space swathed, tent-style, in semisheer fabrics and burlap; the floor here is covered with packed earth. As your eyes adjust to the dimness you can make out tree trunks standing upright like tent poles. Wreaths of dried flowers are suspended from them.
This installation is partly autobiographical. Mr. Fordjour grew up in Memphis, a child of Ghanaian immigrants. “Upper Room” refers to places of worship: a prayer room in his family home and church revival meetings in forest clearings. Worship was intended to strengthen personal identity and safety-in-numbers solidarity, though powerful forces were set against this. A soundtrack of hymns plays in the gallery, but so does live audio from a police scanner in New York City, where the artist now lives. The installation’s atmosphere is one of menace rather than safety. It feels less like a place of communion than one of abandoned ritual. The dried flowers could easily be funeral wreaths.
Mr. Fordjour takes risks here: If he had overstated his basic image, or editorialized on it, the piece would have landed with a thud. He has trusted in the truth of materials to tell a story, and they do. “Upper Room” balances information and mystery. It comes out of personal history, but refers to larger ones, including the history of refugees who still live, destitute and unprotected, in the campgrounds that are streets of this rich city.
Robert Blumenthal Gallery East Hampton is pleased to present Dirty Summer of Love, Marie Jacotey’s first solo show with the gallery. The exhibition includes pieces from Jacotey’s, Babe Cave series, a group of 30 oil paintings on dust sheets installed with the use of static electricity. The flatness and fragmented appearance of the work creates the feeling of an ephemeral fresco.
Jacotey’s paintings are concerned with the development of experimental figurative narration through a creative process that tends to be organic and intuitive. Her practice focuses on exploring and commenting on human reactions to essential and existentialist matters such as love and death. Through her paintings, Jacotey shares observations about social interactions from a neutral point of view. The candid eroticism of her subjects conveys an unclear sexual identity, a voice that could be either feminine or masculine. The poetic nature of her work is reminiscent of Baudelaire’s sentiments in “Correspondance” where something can be seen in a new light when associated with something unexpected.
Jacotey’s work is influenced by artists including David Hockney, Philip Guston, Tauba Auerbach, Thomas Hirschorn, cartoonists Blutch and Daniel Clowes, writers, Marguerite Duras and Alberto Moravia and filmmakers Michelangelo Antonioni and Luis Buñuel.
Original article at: http://robbreport.com/LuxuryNewswire/art-collectibles/robert-blumenthal-gallery-east-hampton-presents-marie-jacotey
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Robert Blumenthal perfectly stated what’s been on a lot of dealers’ minds recently: “The Upper East Side is so unhip, it’s hip.” He went on to remark that when deciding where to open his eponymous gallery, he thought about the up-and-coming Lower East Side, but didn’t even consider Chelsea.
Due to astronomically high rents, heavy competition, and boring “white box” architecture, it looks like the art neighborhood du jour may quickly be turning into the art neighborhood du last decade. Chelsea-based gallerist Zach Feuer admitted he is ready for a change. “Frankly, it’s become kind of boring, ” he said. “I walk down the street, and it feels like a row of spectacles.”
But why the Upper East Side? Previously thought of as a place where, as gallerist Jack Tilton put it, “the only good artists… are dead artists,” the area offers advantages that downtown neighborhoods don’t, including proximity to moneyed collectors and prestigious art institutions, as well as making it easier for contemporary art spaces to stand out amid the modern and Old Master dealers. Tilton also added that thanks to cutting-edge gallery operators like Adam Lindemann, Joe Nahmad, and Craig Starr, the area suddenly seems more appealing.
While there’s no mass exodus from Chelsea—yet—those in the know are dipping their toes in the uptown water and finding it a bit warmer. Larry Gagosian recently christened a third Upper East Side space at East 75th Street and Park Avenue, and Los Angeles’s Blum & Poe have opened their East Coast outpost in a townhouse on East 66th Street.
Speaking for a new wave of gallerists, Blumenthal declared, “Chelsea is a generation before me.” Much like the shift from the East Village to SoHo and then to Chelsea, each decade does seem to usher in a new home for contemporary art in New York.
Original article published at: https://news.artnet.com/market/is-the-upper-east-side-new-yorks-next-hot-art-neighborhood-29723